The owner of the largest independent coal producer in the United States, Robert Murray, has a bone to pick with the EPA. He firmly believes that they are lying about global warming and is threatening to sue the the agency over its new carbon emission regulation.
Murray, the founder of Murray Energy Corp, says that this new regulation is based on the EPA’s claim that man-made climate change is real, which he views as a violation of the federal Data Quality Act, a requirement that federal agencies use factual, objective information to craft policy.
“Under the act, they are obligated to tell the truth,” Murray is reported to have said, “and they are not telling the truth about global warming. They are not telling hardly any truth about the science. The earth has actually cooled over the last 17 years, so under the Data Quality Act, they’ve actually been lying about so-called global warming.”
Where Murray has gathered his own facts is unknown, but they can be disputed by anyone with access to the internet. In fact, the scientific consensus, taken from over 11,000 peer-reviewed articles between 1991-2011 show that 97.1 percent of experts agree that humans are causing global warming. Furthermore, not only is the Earth’s atmosphere warming, its oceans are warming even faster. This is why western Antarctica is currently, irreversibly melting.
Finally, that the last 17 years have been cooler is outright bunk. Each of the last three decades has been hotter than the previous one, and of the 14 hottest years on record, 13 have occurred in the twenty-first century.
But Murray’s lawsuit, he says, “will force [the EPA] to not just take data from the environmentalists and publish it, as they have been doing, but to review that data and make sure it’s accurate.” If someone were to tell Murray the EPA takes its data from peer-review scientific research and not environmentalists, it might save the courts a lot of grief.
Unfortunately, Murray’s resort to calling the EPA liars is a histrionic salvo from a genuine American businessman. Robert Murray is the quintessential American, the son of a coal miner. When his father broke his neck and became a quadriplegic, it was Murray, at age 17, who became the family’s main provider, working in the very same tunnels of his father. By 29, he was the vice president of Operations at North American Coal Corporation.
Murray is a man who understands what it means to work at the very bottom of a company and seems to genuinely care for his employees. It’s easy to understand why he sees the EPA’s regulation as a “War on Coal.” It’s about jobs, about families.
“Thousands of American coal mining and related jobs and the livelihoods of these folks’ families have been brutally stamped out,” Murray told West Virginia Executive. “This devastation, this destruction of the coal industry, is a human issue to me because these are my employees. I know the names of the miners and their families whose livelihoods are being destroyed for no benefit at all.”
For no benefit but cleaner air and renewable energy, a stronger economy and a brave new future. And yet rather than appeal on behalf of these workers, or try to meet the EPA halfway, Murray calls Obama and the agency liars, calls their facts hocus pocus, and pulls “global cooling” out of thin air.
America deserves an energy debate, not reactionary argle bargle.